Canada, South Dakota benefit from close relationship, trade

Kristine Young

Kristine YoungNews Editor

As neighbors and allies, Canada and the United States are dependant on each other in many ways. Both the United States and Canada benefit from a peaceful and cooperative relationship, but South Dakota as a state also benefits from the relationship between the two nations.

Martin Loken, Consul General of Canada visited SDSU Monday, Sept. 13 to discuss the relationship between the United States and Canada and how that relationship affects South Dakota.

“For a Canadian, it’s a tremendous honor to be assigned to the U.S. because no other country is more important,” Loken said.

“Canada and the U.S. have strong connections in many ways, particularly when it comes to commercial relations, energy and international cooperation,” Loken said.

As far as commercial relations go, Loken said the U.S. and Canada are constantly working together to make and exchange products.

“Canada and the U.S. don’t just sell things together, we make things together,” Loken said.

Loken said many goods are transported back and forth between the U.S. and Canada during production, which ensures that both countries are benefiting from the product.

The strong cross border economic activity between Canada and the U.S. has a profound effect on both countries economically.

Loken said eight million jobs in the U.S. are dependent on Canada, with over 24,000 jobs in South Dakota being contingent upon trade between Canada and the United States. The U.S. sells to Canada three times as much as it sells to China, while South Dakota is one of the 34 states that has Canada as its number one export partner. Bilateral trade between South Dakota and Canada totaled $687 in 2009.

Loken said it is important to know how important it is to have open and integrated markets to ensure that North America stay strong in the face of global competition.

“It’s important to keep with the way Canada and the U.S. have been working together for decades,” Loken said.

Energy also plays a huge role in the trade relationship. Canada is the U.S.’s largest and most reliable source of oil, natural gas, electricity and nuclear fuel.

Along with being a huge energy source, Canada and the U.S. work together to find environmentally friendly and safe energy sources.

“Canada and the United States are on the same page when it comes to energy,” Loken said.

Finally, Loken said Canada and the United States work together in the face of globalization.

“We have shared values and beliefs and work together in a lot of ways,” Loken said.

U.S. and Canadian soldiers fight side-by-side; they work together to find a way out of the economic crisis and to prevent terrorism, Loken said.

Loken said it is important for college-aged students to understand the relationship between the U.S. and Canada.

“It’s important to understand that economic growth comes from more than what is happening in the United States,” Loken said.

#1.1599696:2477678836.jpg:Martin Loken, Consul General of Canada, discusses economic and energy ties to South Dakota.:Martin Loken, Consul General of Canada, discusses economic and energy ties to South Dakota.:Collegian photo by Ryan Robinson